Henry Wildy Harding Sr. was among the first settlers to Calloway County after Kentucky's first governor Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson negotiated the Jackson Purchase with the Chickasaw. Back then, this land was mostly untouched wilderness. Homes, barns and fences had to be built by felling trees. Harding settled on approximately 1,000 acres of what is now the northwestern part of Murray and Calloway County. Between two wives (his first died before moving to western Kentucky), he fathered 18 children, five of whom fought for the Confederate Army in the Civil War.
Later in his life, he oversaw the local school district, donating a portion of his land for one of the school houses and also founded First Baptist Church of Murray. David Reed of Gilbertsville is his great great grandson, semi-retired District Court Judge and co-author of a book The Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Wildy Harding Sr. with his cousin. They have a family reunion this weekend and Reed speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about Harding Sr.'s remarkable legacy.